Tag Archives: Prince of the City (1981)

Sydney Lumet: the prince of the New York

Anyone who has an interest in cinema from the fifties, sixties and seventies will by now be well and truly used to logging onto the Internet or picking up the newspaper, to discover that one of their favourite actors or directors has died.

So it was this morning, when I got the news that Sydney Lumet was dead at the age of 86.

Lumet made some crap films and some great films. Mostly he made great films, including Dog Day Afternoon in 1975 and Prince of the City in 1981.

Both films examined corruption and the situation of people trapped in circumstances beyond their control. They also showcased the good and the bad of the director’s beloved New York.

Clocking in at approximately 240 minutes, the much underrated Prince of the City is based on the real life case of New York cop Robert Leuci, or Daniel Ciello as he is called in the film, played by Treat Williams.

Ciello is a member of a special unit of narcotics investigators known as ‘princes of the city’ for the power they wield. Uneasy with some of the corrupt practices going on in his unit, Ciello agrees to help an internal affairs probe.

It’s a complicated, dense, claustrophobic, drawn out story that mirrors the situation facing Ciello.… Read more